I love this quote. I think there is a lot of truth to it. We live in a society that always tells us what to do. I can't go a week without some lame article popping up telling me how I should dress, how I should wear my make-up, what to do with my hair, what I should eat, etc. Sure, I get that these are just helpful tips. I understand that. However, some of them are written in a do-or-die manner, making it sound like their way is the only way. That's simply not true.
More of the articles that grab my attention now are ones addressed to women over fifty. If you search online, you're bombarded with blogs and articles about perceptions of what women over fifty should and should not wear. I was reading one on Facebook the other day that listed make-up tips for women over sixty. Again, the author wrote it in a way that made it sound like it was an absolute for all women of that age. Hmmm. I'm no rocket scientist, but I know women aren't that stupid. Or are they? As I read the article with a grain of salt, I also glanced at the comments. Many women were in total agreement with the author, and on really trivial things like wearing eye shadow or darker lipstick colors. The amount of comments in support of the so-called expert's tips was astonishing to me. One brave soul blurted out, "I wear what I want." Good for her. Picture me doing a fist-pump in the air. You tell 'em, girl! Errr ... I mean, old lady.
I get that it's personal preference. Not all women like wearing make-up. That's fine. It just irks me when people write these articles in such an outright manner that makes you feel it's their way or the highway. How hard is it for someone to write, "This works for me, and maybe it will work for you." They don't do that though. Women are inundated with articles like this. Seriously, it's just make-up. It's just clothing. It's not the freaking Ten Commandments. Apparently, women over fifty shouldn't be wearing message tee shirts. The experts claim those types of shirts are generally used to show frustration, and that's not very mature. Does that mean I have to toss my Darth Tater tee? What about my Wiggles shirt? I bought it with my very own mature money. Does that not count? Another thing that's off-limits to us old hags are too-trendy denims. If it's too low, too worn, too embellished, it's not for us. Another is costume shoes, because you know, high heels or fun shoes are for the younglings. Old folks need to wear sensible shoes with thick heels. I guess that's so we don't trip and break a hip, maybe? Other no-nos include cotton tank tops, hair gadgets, embellished hobo bags, and loud accessories. I'm sorry, but I'm keeping my Elvis purses. One article said to donate your black and glitter nail polish to the nearest ninth grader. Seriously? Screw that. I love my black nail polish, especially covered in glitter. Those ninth graders can get jobs and buy their own damn nail polish.
One of the articles I read this morning was called the Top 10 Items You're Too Old To Wear. Click on the title to check it out. It only got two stars out of five, if that tells you anything, so I don't think many women were too impressed. I understand what she was saying. She's basically saying women over certain ages should strive for a more age-appropriate, classy-look. Once you reach forty, you should give up everything that's colorful, fun or whimsical. No thanks, that's not who I am. Right after I found that article I just listed, I came across a blog called A Labour of Life. The author posted 10 things Not to Wear over 50. Check her link out. It's wonderful. She basically spoofs everything the first article listed. I love it. Good for her.
I think it's so ironic that as parents—especially of girls—that we're so consumed with teaching our children about having a positive body image. I can't tell you how many articles I've read about how horrible it is that our children are overloaded with images of women who have been PhotoShopped to look as if they are utterly perfect. That's a big issue. Isn't it funny how the fashion industry gives us a sense of how we should look, but as parents, we have to counter that and teach our kids that their looks don't matter? Then once women are older, the tides turn again, and we have all these loony people telling us how to be more age-appropriate. What's up with that? Seriously, we all need to go back to kindergarten when we got dressed all by ourselves in plaid pants, striped shirts, and polka-dot hats. Dr. Seuss had it right all along ...
Occasionally when I'm out shopping, I'll see some little, old lady dressed to the nines. These ladies always make me smile. They're dressed from head-to-toe, complete with a full face of make-up and adorned with glittery accessories. I love that. I want to be that type of lady when I'm in my 70s or 80s. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I want to wear what I like, not what society thinks I should wear just because I'm a certain age. I want to be like The Green Lady of Brooklyn. Have you heard of her? I think she's absolutely adorable and simply wonderful. Sure, society might think she's eccentric, or even crazy, but she's happy. That's what it comes down to ... being happy. Isn't that what we all want to be?
Be happy. Be sparkly. Who cares what anyone else thinks!